Waxahachie City Council members approved a zoning change Monday night to allow a mixed-use development to be built that will create spaces for restaurants, retail, apartments, offices, and a flagship hotel.

The development is to be located on the corner of U.S. Highway 287 Bypass Service Road and Brown Street.

Richard Rozier, the representing developer for Tim Lions, told the council he feels the project would create something truly unique that would draw people to the community.

“We didn’t want to bring you a typical garden-variety development. This (type of project) is not currently represented in Waxahachie,” Rozier said. “This is geared toward young people and young professionals and includes quite a bit of retail.”

Rozier stated the hotel would be 90,000 square feet and spread out over four floors. It would serve as the development’s anchor. The site would contain 30,000 square feet worth of retail space as well. Residents could enjoy several amenities that include a park, and a fitness center.

Tim Lions, the developer, told the council other parts of the project need to be constructed first before building the hotel.

“We don’t have a flagship hotel yet, but we will. I can’t build a hotel first. I need the sale from other parts of the development to use the equity,” Lions said. “I am committed to the whole site. I have held onto this for so long because it is a gem.”

Sewer System Upgrades

The council tabled a decision on a resolution to authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire easements needed for sewer line system improvements. The projects where eminent domain could possibly be used are for Cole Creek gravity trunk sewer lines, the Grove Creek life station, force main and gravity truck sewer line, and the lower Mustang Creek lift station and parallel force main.

Resident Robert Bernecker told the council there is a lack of communication from the city to property owners, whose questions have not been addressed.

“You sent one man out one time to talk to me. I gave him a list of concerns,” Bernecker said. “I have got 20-foot trees that took me eight years grow. Who is going to replace them? No response. I probably got the finest turfgrass in Waxahachie. How do you plan to replace that? No response.”

Bernecker stated this has caused the residents to seek legal representation when all they wanted was to be dealt with fairly.

Fellow resident Daniel Garrison shared Bernecker’s concerns about the lack of community between residents and the city. He encouraged city leaders to table a decision and to speak with residents.

The council approved to table the item and move it to the Aug. 6 city council meeting.